This is the delightful indie game A Short Hike. I don’t play many video games, because I find them arbitrary and confusing. They also go on far too long. But “Hike” is the perfect length. I completed it within 2 hours (I think – more on that later). Which, considering I paid $10 for a hundred games as part of the bundle, feels like good value for money!
It’s an open-world adventure, which basically consists of a couple of dozen Zelda-style side-quests. Get the mission, pick up a thing, take it over there, climb this, use that, sell this, buy that. Nothing stunningly original, but a great way to spend an afternoon.
I absolutely hated Untitled Goose Game because it was all hype and no substance. This is different. It’s a charming little adventure. Zero stress, zero consequences.
There are three minor things I found annoying. And I’m prepared to believe that they’re just me not being used to this style of game.
Apparently the blocky graphics are part of the game’s aesthetic. I can appreciate that – but it made my eyes hurt and made certain quests really hard.
Annoyingly, after I completed the game, I found there was an option to have smooth graphics.
I’ve no idea why that isn’t the default.
Where am I? What do I have to do?
There’s no map, so I found myself wandering around lost. That’s not a feeling I enjoy in life, so I don’t enjoy it in a game.
Similarly, there’s no quest log. I’ve no idea what quests I have, which have been completed, how many MacGuffins I need to pick up. It was quite frustrating.
Which leads me to the last complaint…
Have I completed the game?
I don’t know. I climbed the mountain. Took the phone call. Got most objects back to their owners (I think). And found a load of feathers.
Is that it?
It’s fine if it is. But I ended up getting a bit bored wandering around lost – so the game fizzled out.
I don’t have time to play many games. My gaming experience is mostly sitting and watching my wife play endless quests on Skyrim and Dragon Age. So this was an entertaining – if slightly frustrating – diversion.